As my stylish, little, Italian designed, rental car nipped along the twisting curves of Provence’s Luberon Valley towards Lourmarin my heart skipped a beat in excited anticipation. Fields of lush vineyards flanked the narrow roadside, row after row of low lying bushes, their sun kissed leaves shading bunches of what looked like fat, black pearl earring clusters, drooping heavily to kiss the rich earth below them. The sky, although cloudless and bright had that feint hint of hazy pink and the air was perfumed with a musty, oaky, ‘wood barrel’ aroma so typical of a warm autumn afternoon by the vineyards. The road ended in front of a golden, stone, clay tiled, winery where I turned right. I slipped passed the gently swaying olive trees, their silvery green boughs almost waving in welcome and then round the corner was that view, so well remembered, that I knew couldn’t fail to make me gasp, I was back in my special place, in Lourmarin.
I had to stop to simply stare, and be utterly captivated, again!
Close by were yet more olive trees, so typical of Provence.
Then we made our way along the beautiful leafy canopy shading the main road into this enchanting ‘beaux village de France’.
Having parked, we ambled through the bustling little village to collect our house keys.
Mark, at Cafe Gaby was there to greet us with a warm welcome.
Glimpsing up the narrow cobbled streets, all seemed just as I left it.
The shops just as enticing
and the roof top views just as beguiling,
no matter the direction you glanced.
It was a heavenly week sampling the local cheeses and vin rosé.
It is impossible to tire of touring the local the perched villages of the Luberon, Gordes;
and the warm ochre hues of Roussillon.
Despite the relentless rain on our last day, the Lourmarin market still made a vibrant appearance,
the highlight being its’ fat wheels of delicious french cheese,
and of course much more besides.
As I tried to encapsulate this beautiful little place I wondered when I would be here again. Thank you to all my Provencal friends in Lourmarin for making me feel like I belong; Claudie, Mark, Simone, Valerie and Walter, you all know I will be coming back!